One of our most common pieces of advice to farmers looking for land and landowners looking for farmers is this – build your network of people and organizations.
Even in the 21st century, there is no substitute for the information, advice, connections, and support you can get through connecting with real people and organizations. So, from time to time, we will share news of people and organizations you should know about.
After years as an all-volunteer organization, the Illinois Grazing Lands (IGLC) has recently jumped forward, adding two paid coordinators and seeking to hire their first executive director.
IGLC has an ambitious vision – 50,000 acres in Illinois in regenerative grazing by 2025, a big jump from the current ~10,000-acre level. “There is a lot of marginal land in Illinois that should be grazed and not row cropped,” says Trevor Toland, a grazer in Macomb and chairman of the IGLC board.
Long term, IGLC aims to be the voice for regenerative grazing in Illinois for livestock of all kinds.
In coming months, the IGLC team will be forming regional grazing groups around the state to promote grazer-to-grazer learning, offering pasture walks, and hosting two two-day grazing schools. The team will also be gathering data to better understand the state of grazing agriculture in Illinois.
No matter what kind of livestock you graze at what kind of scale, IGLC is ready to offer advice. “We welcome requests for help,” says Christian Lovell, a grazer himself and one of the two coordinators.
To find out more about IGLC, the grazing schools, and the events mentioned about, visit their website. And to join an online community of regenerative grazers, look for the Illinois Grazing Lands Coalition Facebook group. You can also reach out directly to Christian at email@example.com.
If you’re a farmer thinking about integrating grazing into your operations, we’d encourage you to connect with IGLC for education and to network with people. If you’re a farmland owner who is intrigued by the many soil health and conservation benefits of regenerative grazing, we’d also encourage you to attend their events and reach out for advice and connections to grazers.